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DIY organic herbs for autumn

Rosemary_1Autumn's not exactly the obvious time to start sowing kitchen herbs in your window boxes, but you'd be surprised by what you can grow this time of year. By 'you' I mean people like me who don't have a clue when herb seeds  germinate. As luck would have it, you can still grow coriander, rosemary and mint plus a whole load of lesser-know ones such as mace, chervil and savory. By going DIY, you'll cut down on food miles - most supermarket herbs trundle all the way from Israel - and save yourself a stack of cash. Though there's a huge choice of online seed shops, I highly recommend Jekka's Herb Farm in Gloucester. Everything is organic and the choice of herb seeds and plants is mind-bogglingly encyclopedic. While you're there, swot up on the latin names to impress green-fingered friends.

September 29, 2005 in Plants & gardens | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Going cheap - organic tees

Glo4life_3I know there's going to a stampede for these t-shirts since their previous appearance prompted a deluge of positive feedback. Well, Glo4Life's 100 per cent organic cotton tees are now discounted in a sale - if you move quickly, you can get 20-25 per cent off the normal £25 and £20 price tags. The husband-and-wife team has also started stocking blank, design-free tees if you don't dig their gorgeous 'urban vermin' and 'street pollution' prints. Glo4life

September 29, 2005 in Fashion & accessories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New from Shiny: beach books, forgotten classics and high-def telly

NewshinysIt's go-go-go with new blogs from Shiny this week. First up is Pop Junkie, a homage to forgotten pop albums which already includes Presley's From Elvis in Memphis and is thus good by me. There's also Trashionista - a paean to the airport novels of this world - and HDTV, a guide to everything you need to know about the high definition telly that's coming to the UK in 2006. I suspect I'll mostly be found throwing in my penny's worth on Pop Junkie rediscoverd gems.

September 28, 2005 in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hoes are the new goats

Hoe_1Last Christmas, the iPod's biggest rival for top gift was the Oxfam goat. This year, Christian Aid is hoping the Nano's nemesis will be a £20 common garden hoe, one of a bounty of ethical presents that will be distributed to those in need across the world. Beginning next week, you'll also be able to buy developing world villages everything from a stethoscope (£7), worm farm (£15) and a well (£790) on your friends' behalf. Personally, I'll happily receive all cards saying a hoe has been donated as my gift. Anything, in fact, so long as I avoid getting another Lynx Christmas fun pack. You can sign up now for Christian Aid's Present Aid website, which goes live shortly.

September 28, 2005 in Ethical & green gifts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not S.A.D any more - low energy day bulbs

BiobulbAs the astute will have noticed, the nights are drawing in and the leaves are-a-turnin' red. There's not much you can do about the leaves - save rushing around the nation with top-up syringes of chlorophyll - but you can beat the gloom with one of these BioBulbs. It's essentially  a low energy bulb, but with a difference - it produces 100W of soft light, making for a decent impression of sunlight and a handy S.A.D antidote. The fact that it sucks up 100W loses it green points, but it's still more eco-friendly than having a rack of halogen spots lighting up your house. Grab a bayonet or screw version for £15 from the Insightecostore.

September 26, 2005 in Energy saving, Green gadgets | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

From parachutes to hippy trainers

WornagainIf Nathan Barley became an eco-warrior, these 99 per cent recycled trainers are what he'd wear on his feet. Designed by London's Anti-Apathy, the £60 Worn Agains are reportedly made from -  I kid you not - old prison blankets, parachute silk and second hand men's suit jackets. I'm waiting to hear back on the other materials but in the meantime brace yourself for Vogue and weekend supplement features on the advent of Formal Convict Skydiver fashion. Check it for yourself at Worn Again. [found via City Hippy] Update: like a typical bloke, I didn't search further than the end of my hand. The other materials are listed on Worn Again's site: car seat leather and hand towels.

September 23, 2005 in Fashion & accessories, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Offset your house

MeterNope, not in a financial fashion with fancy Intelligent Finance packages  - I'm talking about the CO2-offsetting, Carbon Neutral Company sense. Ebico, the nice, socially-minded gas and eleccie supplier, has just launched Equiclimate, a service which allows you to offset your home's annual carbon emissions. It works thus: Ebico will buy up the amount of CO2 you use from the European carbon trading scheme and hold onto them, forcing other CO2 producers - factories, businesses etc - to produce less carbon. Apparently the  average UK household emits the equivalent of 4.5 tonnes  of CO2 every year, so you'd currently pay about £70 to salve your conscience and do your bit. Or you could match the UK's Kyoto targets for around £14. Ebico's site also has a neat little carbon calculator so you can get a rough handle on your homegrown pollution.

September 22, 2005 in Utilities, services & misc | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brilliant recycled bottletop bag

Bottletop20002_lr_1Fashionistas with a good memory will recall the original Mulberry Bottletop handbag, modelled by celebs such as Melanie 'All Saints' Blatt way back in 2002. Well, the good news is that the new version - the fabulously ostentatious design on the right - is due before Christmas. On top of being a fine example of high fashion and recycling, the bag also earns ethical points. The Bottletop charity gives an (undeclared) sum of its profits to sexual health projects in Africa, the UK and elsewhere in the world. I'm missing the bottletop connection - unless it's to do with urban myths and  coke's contraceptive qualities - but I'm loving the gesture. Although Bottletop's online shop is currently down I'm waiting to hear back on pricing and stockist info. [NB the picture also shows Bottletop's new radio and iPod case. It's not the first ever bag with a built-in radio antenna] Update: the Bottletop bag will be £100 shortly from Malmaison hotels across the country and Liberty in London.

September 13, 2005 in Fashion & accessories, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Supersize your eco washing powder and get it for half price

Ecover_massiveWhile this may look like Ecover's first ever bag of potatoes, it's actually a huge 10kg refill pack of the green co's non-biological washing powder. As well as doing wonders for your biceps - I recommend 10 gentle lifts a day - it'll save you a stack of cash and cut down on packaging. The sums add up nicely. This bag costs a mere £27.50; the equivalent amount in weedy supermarket-sized 1.2kg boxes would set you back roughly £50. You can order yours from Ecotopia, which is also running a currently unique refill service. If you buy any bulk size (500ml+) plastic bottles of Ecover, Bio D or Clear Spring, it'll reimburse £2.50's worth of postage so you can post the empties back for reuse. Sounds to me like a win, win, win situation for you, landfill sites and Ecotopia.

September 13, 2005 in Health & beauty, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New organic mag due in October

Organiclife_coverMore good tidings for organic foodies - next month sees the debut of Organic Life, a monthly glossy dedicated to chemical-free living. Half of it will focus on food and drink, with the rest given over to sections including 'well-being', 'inside/outside' and 'kids' - sounds like it'll be an organic blend of home mags a la Good Homes and food mags such as Olive (yep, I like the Beeb's lifestyle mags). The first issue goes on sale in WH Smiths across the nation on 21st October, the same day as National Apple Day. I'll let you know what Organic Life's like after I've stuffed myself with Russets, Pearmains and Coxes.

September 12, 2005 in Food & drink, Health & beauty, Kids stuff, Plants & gardens | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack